Marijuana Law, Policy & Reform

Editor: Douglas A. Berman
Moritz College of Law

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

First poll on Ohio ballot issues suggests marijuana legalization (and litigation) likely

635803254591155258-marijuana3-copyAs reported in this Ohio local news piece, headlined "POLL: How Ohio voters really feel about legalizing marijuana," the first ballot-issue-specific polling of Ohio voters indicates fairly significant support for an issue that would legalize both medical and recreational marijuana. Here are the basic details:

Kent State's Survey Research Lab and experts from the Department of Sociology and Department of Political Science in Kent State's College of Arts and Sciences fielded a survey of 500 registered voters in Ohio....

The WKYC/Kent State Poll also asked respondents how they plan to vote after providing them with a bit of information about Issue 2 and Issue 3 using summaries of actual ballot wording from the Ohio Secretary of State website.

54 percent of Ohioans plan to vote yes on Issue 2 (plus or minus 4 percent). 26 percent said they did not know how they would vote....

On Issue 3, 56 percent of Ohioans said they plan to vote yes (plus or minus 4 percent) and only 10 percent said they did not know how they would vote.

That means that, if the election were held today and nearly all registered voters participated, both Issue 2 and Issue 3 would likely pass, leading to a constitutional crisis, since Issue 2 contains a provision that is designed to nullify Issue 3....

Issue 2 would ban amendments that create marijuana monopolies and embed them in Ohio's Constitution. Issue 3 is ResponsibleOhio's plan to legalize recreational and medical marijuana for Ohioans ages 21 and older. It would create 10 growth sites owned by the campaign's investors that would be the exclusive source of commercial marijuana. But if both Issue 2 and 3 pass, there's a good chance the question of which takes precedence could wind up in court....

For Issue 2, partisanship matters relatively little. 57 percent of self-identified Republicans, 53 percent of self-identified Democrats, and 56 percent of self-identified Independents say they will vote yes on Issue 2.

However, for Issue 3, the party divide is wider. 45 percent of self-identified Republicans, 67 percent of self-identified Democrats, and 50 percent of self-identified Independents say they will vote yes on Issue 3.

In the WKYC/Kent State Poll sample of registered voters, about 30 percent are Republicans and 40 percent are Democrats. If turnout is higher among Republicans, it will pull the number of "yes" votes down from the 56 percent that said they would vote "yes" in the WKYC/Kent State Poll.

Age is also only slightly associated with voting on Issue 2. However, age is another important factor in voting on Issue 3. Here the WKYC/Kent State Poll estimates support for Issue 3 goes down about 6 percent for about every 10 years of age. Again, if turnout is low among young people -- and it will be compared to among older registered voters -- it will pull the number of yes votes down from the 56 percent that said they would vote yes in our survey.

In terms of other groups, women, blacks, and Hispanics are less supportive of both Issue 2 and Issue 3 than men and non-Hispanic whites, but the differences are only statistically significant for Issue 2.

https://lawprofessors.typepad.com/marijuana_law/2015/10/first-poll-on-ohio-ballot-issues-suggests-marijuana-legalization-and-litigation-likely.html

Initiative reforms in states, Medical Marijuana State Laws and Reforms, Polling data and results, Recreational Marijuana State Laws and Reforms, Who decides | Permalink

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